EVENTS: Wreath laying ceremony in Vassalboro


American Legion Post #126, in Vassalboro invites the community to join them as they lay wreaths at the various veteran monuments in Vassalboro on Monday, May 30, 2022

The wreath laying ceremonies will begin at 9 a.m., on Main St., North Vassalboro, at Main St. Veteran Monument. From there they will proceed to the bridge on Oak Grove Road to lay flowers in honor of those lost at sea. Next they will gather at the flagpole and monument at the North Vassalboro Cemetery, on Cemetery St. From there they will go to the Recreation Field in East Vassalboro. Their final stop will be in East Vassalboro at the Civil War Monument, at Monument Park.

Ira Michaud chosen as new VCS principal

Vassalboro Community School (contributed photo)

by Mary Grow

VASSALBORO, ME — At a brief special meeting May 10, Vassalboro School Board members unanimously hired Ira Michaud as the new principal at Vassalboro Community School (VCS).

Michaud will take office July 1, succeeding Megan Allen, who resigned earlier this spring and plans to return to teaching.

He is currently ending his first year as principal at Nobleboro Central School, in Alternative Educational Structure (AOS) #93, which serves students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Before that, he said, he was principal for four years at Edgecomb Eddy Elementary, a pre-school through sixth-grade school in AOS #98.

Michaud was born in Windsor, some of his family lived in Vassalboro, and, he told school board members, 23 years ago he did his practicum (his first, supervised practice teaching) in Vassalboro. Now, he said, he is excited at this new opportunity.

Vassalboro’s 16-person search team chose Michaud from more than a dozen candidates, about half of whom they interviewed. The team included school officials and staff and town representatives, some of them parents of VCS students.

Superintendent Alan Pfeiffer and school board member Jessica Clark said the search team members were unanimous and enthusiastic in their choice. Clark said when she asked for negative comments, she got none.

Pfeiffer said the same search team, with Michaud involved, has begun the process of finding a new assistant principal to succeed Greg Hughes, who resigned shortly after Allen did.

Pfeiffer has already begun talking with his opposite number in AOS #93 about making Michaud’s transition as smooth as possible from the Nobleboro end.

Vassalboro select board approves paving bid with All States Construction; postpone buying new truck

by Mary Grow

VASSALBORO, ME — Public works issues – 2022 paving plans and the need for a new truck – were the main topics at the May 12 Vassalboro select board meeting.

Road Foreman Gene Field said Vassalboro received seven bids for road repaving this summer, all higher than the proposed 2022-23 budget can completely cover. He recommended accepting the low bid, $86.90 per ton of asphalt mix, from All States Construction, of Richmond.

Field said Vassalboro and China bid out the work jointly, as the two adjoining towns have done in previous years. China also chose All States, with plans to use a process called chip seal on some roads instead of repaving with a new asphalt coat (see “The Town Line”, May 12, p. 2, and related [china road]article p ).

All States representative Doug Fowler explained to Vassalboro board members that chip seal involves first shimming the road to cover ruts and make a smooth surface. After the shim coat sets, a process that takes about 30 days, chip seal adds an emulsion with hard stone packed into it to create a final surface.

The chip seal coat is normally about 3/8 inch thick, but it can be doubled. A single coat costs about one-third the cost of an inch of asphalt, Fowler said; he expects it to last seven to nine years.

He and Field agreed if they use the shim plus chip seal process, Field can expect calls from puzzled residents asking why a road that was done a month ago is being repaved. Field has reservations about the quality and longevity of chip seal, though he said he had looked at the chip sealed South Road, in China, and it seems satisfactory after two years.

If Vassalboro were to choose chip seal, he recommended a double coat on Legion Park Road, which he called about the worst one on the 2022 list.

Another problem is scheduling. Field said his crew needs time to replace culverts on some roads. Fowler said his preference is to have roads shimmed by about July 15 and chip-sealed by Aug. 30 (or the chip seal coat postponed to the next spring). Town Manager Mary Sabins said payment is usually due within 30 days of completion, and Vassalboro’s first 2022-23 tax payments won’t be due until Sept. 26, 2022 (assuming voters approve the recommended dates at the Monday, June 6, annual town meeting).

Select board members unanimously approved awarding the paving bid to All States. They agreed that decisions on whether, and if so, where to use chip seal would be left to Field, expressing their confidence in his judgment.

Field told the board because of supply and price issues, the truck reserve fund is no longer adequate to cover the new town truck he recommends. Dealers aren’t seeking bids for new trucks, he said; they notify potential buyers when one might be available. If he were able to order a truck chassis in August, he might get it in October or November; then a body would need to be added.

Sabins added that with the stock market losses, Vassalboro’s reserve funds are declining. She said Vassalboro’s investment advisor had recommended cashing out the fire truck reserve, which was already about $800 too low to cover the pending lease payment, and putting the money in a certificate of deposit.

Field had planned to keep the 2009 truck that is being replaced as a back-up. One option to provide more money would be to trade it in or to sell it. Another option would be to ask voters on June 6 to increase the proposed 2022-23 public works budget.

By consensus, select board members decided to postpone a decision on buying a truck until after town meeting.

Field and Sabins reported that planned improvements at the transfer station were under way, but not finished.

In response to a resident’s request, Field said he did a speed survey on Hussey Hill Road with a radar sign and sent results to Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) Commissioner David Allen. Select board members voted unanimously to ask MDOT to do a speed assessment on the road.

Hussey Hill Road is currently unposted, making the speed limit 45 miles an hour. MDOT officials have power to post a limit they consider appropriate.

The May 14 meeting opened with a public hearing on Codes Officer Ryan Page’s recommended increases in permit fees. Page briefly explained the reasons for the recommendations; there were no public comments, and select board members unanimously approved the new schedule, making the increases effective July 1.

Two other matters briefly discussed and postponed until after town meeting were whether to adopt a salary schedule for town employees, as discussed at earlier board meetings (see the report on the March 3 Vassalboro Budget Committee meeting in the March 10 issue of The Town Line, p. 3); and a request to start building a parking lot at the planned streamside park on Route 32 north of East Vassalboro.

The next regular Vassalboro select board meeting is scheduled for Thursday evening, June 9, three days after the annual town meeting. It will be Board Chairman Robert Browne’s last meeting; he is not seeking re-election on June 14. Rick Denico, Jr., is the only candidate on the ballot for a select board seat.

Fish kill on Webber Pond appears to be tied to parasite

One of numerous dead largemouth bass found on Webber Pond. (photo by Roland D. Hallee)

by Roland D. Hallee

VASSALBORO, ME — Over the past couple of weeks there has been a noticeable fish kill on Webber Pond, in Vassalboro. On the east shore of the cove, dozens of dead largemouth bass have been washing ashore. The question that has been asked is why only largemouth bass have been affected.

photo by Roland D. Hallee

Fish kills have occurred before on Webber Pond, and also on China Lake, but it usually affects all species of fish, and not one in particular.

Jason Seiders, resource supervisor for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife provided some information on the subject. There has been ongoing work relating to the fish kill. The occurrence appears to be pond-wide, and not just the east shore.

Seiders says, “our staff has visited the pond multiple times to collect water quality information and to collect specimens for our fish pathologist. The ultimate cause of fish mortality appears to be high levels of parasitization by a protozoan called Chilodonella.” (Chilodonella uncinata is a single-celled organism that affects the gills and skin of fresh water fish, and may act as a facultative parasite of mosquito larva). “Chilodonella is found throughout Maine and is usually relatively benign to fishes,” Seiders adds, “unless the fish have undergone elevated levels of stress. Stress acts as an immunosuppressor to fish, and the causes of stress include a wide variety of issues.”

Seiders went on to say that since this event seems to involve almost exclusively adult largemouth bass, it is unlikely to be anything related to a discharge or point source of pollution. Those types of events would typically kill indiscriminately, not just one life stage of one species. Some likely causes of stress to adult largemouth bass in Webber Pond include: high fish numbers, rapid changes in water temperature or dissolved oxygen levels, and spawn and pre-spawn stress. The actual cause of the initial stress may never be known.

“I realize that an event such as this is disturbing. Fish kills like this are not uncommon for central Maine waters; this one is quite similar to one experienced in the Cobbosseecontee drainage a few years ago,” he explained.

For more information on fish kills, read the blog article written by the IF&W fish pathologist back in 2020, at

According to Seiders, Webber Pond is a very productive warm water fishery, one that has often been called a “bass factory”. Webber Pond provides outstanding habitat for warm water fishes such as largemouth bass, which will likely speed along any recovery to the population.

While numerous bass have perished during this event at Webber, this will not cause the entire population to be wiped out. Animals that feed on the bass will be unharmed because the identified protozoan is harmless to wildlife. The IF&W staff will continue to monitor Webber Pond to assess potential impacts to the bass population in the short and long term.

If you have any additional questions or concerns, contact Seiders directly and he’ll help as best he can. He can be contacted at

Local residents named to Simmons University dean’s list

The following local students were named to the 2021 fall semester dean’s list at Simmons University, in Boston, Massachusetts. To qualify for dean’s list status, undergraduate students must obtain a grade point average of 3.5 or higher, based on 12 or more credit hours of work in classes using the letter grade system.

Allyson Cunningham, of Augusta; Kaili Shorey, of Vassalboro, Abigail Bloom, of Waterville, and Maddie Beckwith, of Winslow.

Vassalboro planners approve four applications

by Mary Grow

Vassalboro Planning Board members unanimously approved all four applications on their May 3 agenda. They also discussed increased town permit fees, an item that will appear on the May 12 select board agenda.

Two shoreland permits were approved, for John Northrop to replace a house at 78 Three Mile Pond Road with a similar house close by and to add a garage; and for Jeffrey and Erica Bennett to build two houses at 21 Sheafer Lane, on Webber Pond.

Property-owner Raymond Breton, representing Amber French, of China, received a permit to open a lashes extension business – eyelashes, Breton explained – in an existing building at 913 Main Street, in North Vassalboro.

The fourth action was approval of a six-month extension of the permit issued June 1, 2021, for a solar array off Cemetery Street, in North Vassalboro. The original license was issued to New England Solar Gardens; the new company name is Maine 1 Vassalboro Cemetery.

Codes Officer Ryan Page presented a list of proposed fee increases for permits issued by his office, including but not exclusively those needing planning board approval. His goal was twofold, to bring many-year-old fees into the present day and to more adequately represent the time invested in permit review.

Planners took no formal action, but in discussion they supported his fee schedule and in some cases recommended increases.

Two board members summarized the two philosophies involved. John Phillips said when he asks town employees for a service, he thinks his taxes have paid for their help and there should be no additional charge. Paul Mitnik said that since he has not applied for a permit in years, his taxes are subsidizing residents who do need the codes officer’s help.

The next Vassalboro Planning Board meeting should be Tuesday evening, June 7.

VCS middle schoolers take a trip down the road to witness historic event

Matt Streeter, one of the key people on the alewife project, tells students about ecological changes that have occurred at the old Mill site. (photo by Gillian Lalime)

by Gillian Lalime

On Friday, May 6, students from the VCS middle school took a field trip following the Outlet Stream that runs from China Lake into the Kennebec River. This educational experience was orchestrated through a collaboration of Brian Stanley, librarian at the Vassalboro Public Library, and Melora Norman, at Vassalboro Community School, with the chosen topic of Alewives. Students visited the Box Mill, in North Vassalboro, and the Masse Mill, in East Vassalboro, to learn about the seasonal migration of these fish as well as historic and ecological impacts of the run. Over the last ten years organizations including Maine Fish and Wildlife and Maine Rivers have worked to restore the annual alewive’s run by removing unused dams and creating fish passages. The year 2022 marks an historic event of the alewive’s unobstructed route to China Lake, where they will spawn for the first time in over 200 years.

Middle school students sit in a circle while Vassalboro community member, Holly Weidner, leads a discussion about indigenous history of the land on which East Vassalboro’s Masse Mill is located. (photo by Gillian Lalime)

CORRECTION: Previously, the caption on the photo above referred to Holly Weidner as being from the Vassalboro Historical Society. She is not a part of VHS. The caption has been updated.

Vassalboro Community School third quarter honors, Spring 2022

Vassalboro Community School (contributed photo)


High honors: Emily Almeida, Ava Lemelin, Alexandria O’Hara and AddisonWitham.

Honors: Moira Bevan, William Ellsey, Madison Estabrook, Talula Kimball, Timothy Kiralis, Jacob Lavallee, Paige Littlefield, Brayden McLean, Emily Piecewicz and Leahna Rocque.

Honorable mention: Saunders Chase, Leigh-Ann Gagnon, Daniel Ouellette, Lillian Piecewicz and Leah Targett.


High honors: Madison Burns, Eilah Dillaway, Henry Olson and Bryson Stratton.

Honors: Tyler Clark, Owen Couture, Ryley Desmond, Peyton Dowe, Wyatt Ellis, Alora Edquibel, Madison Field, Xavier Foss, Adalyn Glidden, Bailey Goforth, Kylie Grant, Mason Lagasse, Kaitlyn Maberry, Josslyn Ouellette, Noah Pooler, Natalie Rancourt and Mackullen Tolentino.

Honorable mention: Aliya Bourque, Emma Charleston, Jack Malcolm, Ayden Norton, Mackenzie Oxley, Taiya Rankins and Kaleb Tolentino.


High honors: Benjamin Allen, Drew Lindquist, Caleb Marden, Paige Perry, Judson Smith and Reid Willett.

Honors: Juliet Boivin, Tristyn Brown, Gabriella Grundage, Zoey DeMerchant, Dylan Dodge, Jennah Dumont, Ryleigh French, Zachary Kinrade, Cooper Lajoie, Bentley Pooler, Abigail Prickett, Leigha Sullivan, Hannah Tobey, William Trainor and Alana Wade.

Honorable mention: Dominick Bickford, Kayden Renna, Brooke Reny and Jade Travers.


High honors: Samuel Bechard, Emily Clark, Keegan Clark, Basil Dillaway, Baylee Fuchswanz, Zoe Gaffner, Allyson Gilman, Lillyana Krastev, Kaitlyn Lavallee, Cheyenne Lizzotte, Mia McLean, Agatha Meyer, Mackenzy Monroe, GraceTobey and Ava Woods.

Honors: DaVontay Austin, Peyton Bishop, Bryleigh Burns, Tess Foster, Fury Frappier, Bayleigh Gorman, Jack LaPierre, Aiden McIntyre, Jaelyn Moore, Kaylee Moulton, Kassidy Proctor, Emma Robbins and Landen Theobald.

Honorable mention: Kaleb Charlebois, Olivia Dumas, Weston Pappas and Naseem Umar.


High honors: Zander Austin, Xainte Cloutier, Samantha Craig, Mariah Estabrook, Riley Fletcher, Sarina LaCroix, Landon Lagasse, Cassidy Rumba, Haven Trainor, Ashton Walters and Cameron, Willett.

Honors: Lukas Blais, Jayson Booker, Sophia Brazier, Twila Cloutier, Kaylee Colfer, Wyatt Devoe, Dekan Dumont, Dawson Frazier, Aubrey Goforth, Isaac Leonard, Jade Lopez, Elliott Rafuse, Juliahna Rocque, Bryce Sounier and Meadow Varney.

Honorable mention: Aliya Anthony, Kiara Apollo, Grace Clark, Brandon Fortin, Camden Foster, Peter Giampietro, Lucian Kinrade, Jayden Leighton, Arianna Muzerolle, Olivia Perry and Isaiah Smith.


High honors: Hunter Brown, Kamdyn Couture, Cooper Grant, Olivia Lane, Brooklyn Leach, Simon Olson, Landon Qyuint, Willa Rafuse, Alexis Reed, Jackson Robichaud, Asher Smith and Robert Wade.

Honors: Ryder Austin, Alexander Bailey, Rylee Boucher, Reese Chechowitz, Garbriella Coderre, Braiden Crommett, Molly Dearborn, Levi DeMerchant, Addison Dodge, Anthony Dyer, Mikkah-Isabella Grant, Hunter Green, Sophia-Lynn Howard, Tanner Hughes, Kendall Karlsson, Jase Kimball, Jason Marhefka, Keegan Robinson, Christopher Santiago and Elliot Stratton.

Honorable mention: Amaya-Lynn Belanger, Maverick Brewer, Liam Dowe, Chase Fay, Aubrie Hill, Landon Lindquist and William Vincent.

Rep. Bradstreet announces local DOT projects

Richard Bradstreet

State Representative Dick Bradstreet (R-Vassalboro) has announced that the Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) Work Plan for calendar years 2022, 2023 and 2024 is available. The estimated value of work in the plan totals more than 2,316 individual work items with a total value of $3.17 billion. This represents a substantial increase from last year due to anticipated federal funding.

The MDOT Work Plan for House District #80 includes $31.8 million for several area projects, including:

In Augusta: Bridge replacement of the Western Avenue/I-95 Bridge located just south of Old Winthrop Road. Replacing the Rines Hill Bridge over the Old Maine Central Railroad just north of Green Street.

Highway safety and spot and improvements beginning at Route 201 and extending east for 1 mile on Route 202.

Highway construction/rehabilitation beginning just east of the intersection of Granite Hill Road and extending east for 1.67 miles

In Vassalboro: Highway construction/Rehabilitation beginning 1.14 miles north of Gray Road and extending north for almost one mile.

“This year’s Maine DOT Work Plan projects have been enhanced by federal dollars,” said Rep. Bradstreet. “This will help DOT offset the unprecedented increases in labor and material costs that we are all experiencing with our family budgets. I am pleased to see MDOT has more to spend this year and the projects scheduled for the next three years in our area.”

The full work plan, searchable by municipality, is available at the Maine Department of Transportation’s website: .

Over 3,000 Easter eggs found in Vassalboro

Picture is of Easter Festival volunteers Ray Breton, Alicia Reynolds, Samantha Lessard and special guest, The Easter Bunny. (photo by Goodbrain Photography)

On Saturday, April 16, over 150 children attended and participated in Easter crafts, egg hunt and photos with the Easter Bunny. Children enjoyed finding Golden Eggs and exchanging for a toy. Over 3,000 candy filled Easter Eggs were found.